The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
When the growing gets tough

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

The views expressed in these posts are those of the authors and are current only through the date stated. These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions, and Eaton Vance disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice and, because investment decisions for Eaton Vance are based on many factors, may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Eaton Vance fund. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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      By David GordonDirector, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      Like a carnival game of whack-a-mole, a reduction in COVID-19 cases in one part of the country seems to prompt an increase in another. Many of the advisors we work with have come to accept that social distancing will influence their practices for several more months and possibly longer. Faced with pandemic concerns, social unrest, market volatility, climbing unemployment and economic uncertainty, how can any advisor possibly grow a practice?

      We believe this is an excellent time to attract new clients with sensitivity, generosity and creativity:

      • Sensitivity is about asking how anyone you speak with is doing before talking about anything else. If a current or prospective client wants to talk about a personal challenge, leave yourself behind and listen without agenda or guile.
      • Generosity is about offering something of value unconditionally. You might offer to send a prospective client the same market outlook you share with current clients or invite a prospective client to a "clients-only" webinar.
      • Creativity is about seeing today's challenges as an opportunity, which many advisors have not yet realized. This is a time for prospective clients to experience you — your demeanor, your message and your team.

      Let's suppose you:

      • Begin your next call to a prospective client with whom you haven't spoken in months by asking how they're doing — sensitivity.
      • Confirm the prospective client has no preoccupying concerns, then offer to share an upcoming e-newsletter highlighting your team's market view — generosity.
      • Offer her a chance to continue the conversation with a "virtual visit" so she can meet you and your team in the privacy of her home via a smartphone, tablet or computer — creativity.

      Bottom line: Lead with sensitivity, generosity and creativity — especially now — to differentiate yourself from other advisors and attract new clients.